Friday, 5 December 2014

Friday @ the Flicks - Swallows before the snow

The forecast of snow for Sunday has triggered another unplanned Friday @ the Flicks! It doesn’t seem that long since the Swallows were seen swooping along fields and across back roads making drivers jumpy. Gosh… how fast this year seems to have gone.

Are we really ready for snow swirling around us when we walk outside? No? Okay let’s head back to the middle of August to Swallows swirling around instead. Just how I managed to stay put as they flew so close around me I really don’t know...


Swallows feeding & chattering, 53 sec without music, try HD quality.


Ha-ha… the lengths we bloggers go to get a video for a blog post ;-) Perhaps joining Midmarsh John on a regular basis will help me get through all the many video captures I have sitting. Ha-ha… but then if I plan to do so it may not happen. We will take this idea on a week by week basis then ;-)

A holiday week in the small fishing village of Aultbea in the North-West Highlands of Scotland was where the video capture above was taken. The weather could have been kinder but our cottage location on the shores of Loch Ewe (about 30 km west of Ullapool) more than made up for it.


We stayed in the very well appointed, long white house on the right.
You can see the field where the swallows were feeding alongside it.


We had a delightful driveway and walk down to the road with swallows
feeding on the left in this view. The video was taken at the bottom.


In contrast, across the road an open view of Loch Ewe and over to the Torridon Mountains was still. Aultbea has a small harbour at Aird Point on the RHS.


Morning and evening walks along the pebbled shoreline kicked up some surprise sightings. How very well camouflaged the feeding birds there were. At the start, I didn’t even notice them (just like in my first gardenwatch days) but once my eye accustomed to this new environment I had the fun of trying to identify what I was seeing and trying to capture images.

One bird species that I had never seen before was also darting around in groups around the fields beside our cottage and its ID had me struggling. However the highlight (in garden/shore watching terms) was a small group of birds spotted on a sunny lunchtime walk further along the shoreline to where the first photo was taken from. Having an idea on ID this time, I was thrilled and smiling for the rest of the afternoon.

Should snow dust/cover the garden this Sunday we can look forward to some interesting garden visitors with photo and video opportunities. If the snow’s a no show then I’ll sort through the delightful shoreline bird sighting that had me smiling. Any guesses which bird it was?

Wishing you all a great weekend – whatever the weather brings you :-)


Copyright: Original post published on http://blog.shirlsgardenwatch.co.uk/ by blog author Shirley, December 5th 2014.

7 comments:

ADRIAN said...

I'm looking forward to some snow. I hope it isn't cold rain.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

We have had our first snow. It came as a surprise because it was so early. I hope you are able to video something exciting in your snowy garden this weekend. These pictures of your trip are fabulous. I love seeing your part of the world. I have no idea what you might see there along the shore. A wagtail? A shorebird of some sort? I can't wait to see what you saw. Have a great weekend.

Sue Garrett said...

Was it an oystercatcher?

Brian Skeys said...

The swallows are a lovely reminder of Summer.
What a beautiful place to have a holiday.

Angie said...

A lovely reminder to the season gone past Shirley.
What a beautiful place to stay.
I spent the afternoon replenishing the feeders. It's usually a job I leave for a Sunday morning but if the snow forecast arrives on time, then it won't be so practical.
I'm not even going to hazard a guess at the bird!

Midmarsh John said...

Very effectively shows the acrobatic speed of the Swallows. I've had them fly close but not that close.

Shirley said...

Hello everyone, thanks for all your comments. I hope you are bearing up to recent cold and strong winds :-)

Adrian, I might guess you got the same slush that we got… that very cold rain.

Lisa, Ah yes, I do remember you posting on it. Just one interesting video capture last weekend when it was chilly but the snow never came to anything – a Redpoll was seen feeding with a group of Goldfinches. I am delighted to share a bit of Scotland with you. There was a beauty of a garden just 5 mins away too which I’ve heaps of photos to share – perhaps they will have to go to a video. Nope it wasn’t a wagtail (I’ve seen one in our garden during a long snowy spell though) it was a wader though :-)

Sue, nope it wasn’t an oystercatcher but they may have been around somewhere :-)

Brian, that’s exactly what I thought and that’s what prompted this post. I’ve so many images and stories that didn’t make it to blog posts this year. It was a charming holiday location :-)

Angie, it was and it was. Ah… you were a day ahead of me there. Got my feeders all washed and refilled too but not much snow so the hoards didn’t arrive. The cold temps still brought a lot of birds in though. Well Angie, if you are a follower of the BBC Springwatch programmes you would probably jumped to the same ID as me! I got it wrong but was very close ;-)

John, it showed the swallows way better than I thought it would. I knew what was flying over my shoulders and head (so close) when I was trying to hold my camera still but really didn’t know if the footage would have caught the moment. I was delighted it did :-)